A fiber stash is so inspiring. I look at my containers and bags the way I look at a gallery, a gallery of beauty and options. I enjoy standing in front of containers and gazing at the wonders of nature inside. My stash gives me ideas, energy, and comfort. In fact, it is a collection, and this collection fosters a creative atmosphere. Everything is carefully curated and cared for. It’s my muse.
Playing with Fleece
Oh, the unpacking and unrolling of a fresh fleece—so exciting! When looking at locks, feeling fiber, and buying a fleece, I’m filled with ideas about how to prepare and work with it. Project ideas just waiting for the perfect fiber come to mind, and new ideas take shape.
I become immersed in washing a small amount of fleece for its first quick spin and sampling. Next, I do a little more and try other washing methods. Once I am satisfied with the results, I complete the whole washing job.
I meticulously weigh the clean fiber, make notes about its yield and quality, and store portions for later use. I create labels for the container and add photos of the flock or the very animal if possible. Is there an ear number or a name? I record that, too, plus some descriptive notes. All of this information gets gathered together and printed on the container’s label. Now, it’s ready to be stored.
Here are my tips to store your stash safely and beautifully:
- Choose a storage container that will maintain the quality of your fiber and keep pests, such as moths, out.
- Stack it up properly. Try to find several containers of the same size to pile them up.
- Containers can be both beautiful and useful, but they don’t need to be expensive. Shoeboxes work great for smaller amounts and can even be obtained for free from some shoe shops.
- Choose a space or container where fiber will not be exposed to direct sunlight.
- Use airtight bags to organize items in boxes.
- Label everything clearly. Put labels on top, front, and side for viewing from every perspective.
- Make a record of your stash. Use your smartphone, tablet, computer, or a journal to keep track of what you have and its quantity.
Enjoy your flock of fiber options.
A. Sabine Schröder-Gravendyck, D.V.M., makes her home on Germany’s North Sea coast where she works as a naturalist and educator in sustainability and ecology. She is always looking for new ways to help people merge their personal spaces with nature. You can find more about Sabine on her website, www.florafauna.pro.